Claremorris is a town in County Mayo in the west of Ireland, at the junction of the N17 and the N60 national routes. It is served by rail by the Dublin to Westport line. It is the fastest growing town in the county.
Claremorris sits in a valley, surrounded by rolling drumlins and hills. The town was established during the 18th century and is named after a Norman who came to Ireland in 1169. In 1822 the Roman Catholic Chapel was built, which was later demolished to make way for the town hall. The present Roman Catholic Church St Colman’s Church, was built in 1911. St. John’s Anglican Church, now the town library, was built in 1828.
The town sits in a valley. Although low-lying, the town does not experience flooding. There is no major river through the town although there are two lakes in the town centre: Clare Lough where the ‘Land of the Giants’ amenity is located and Mayfield Lough.
Retail outlets in the area include the Silverbridge Shopping Centre. Supermarkets in the town include Aldi, Supervalu, Lidl, Centra and Tesco.
There are three hotels in the town, along with B&Bs and Airbnbs. The town also has several restaurants and pubs, some with music sessions at weekends.
A swimming pool and leisure centre opened on 1 September 2009 on the site of the old swimming pool. A new Garda Síochána Station opened in 2008.
There are two secondary schools in the town – St. Colman’s College for boys and Mount St. Michaels for girls. There are also two primary schools, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál and Claremorris Boys N.S.. Gaelscoil Uileog de Búrca, in nearby Loughanamon, provides primary education through the Irish language.
Local events include the Claremorris Drama Festival (an annual drama festival held since 1970). An agricultural Show is held annually, on the Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend.
McMahon Park – Clare Lake is located just beside the town. It has tree-lined walks, angling platforms and areas suitable for picnicking. It’s also home to Land of the Giants, a children’s attraction.
Claremorris has long been known by locals for its coarse fishing. There are many loughs located around Claremorris where species like Northern Pike, European Perch, European Eel, European Bream and European Roach can be caught regularly. The River Robe located outside the town has been known for its stock of wild brown trout and the Robe’s tributaries are also hold a stable stock of smaller trout.
Claremorris has a number of sporting and leisure clubs.
Claremorris GAA, compete at levels from under-10s up to senior in both men’s and ladies’ competitions. The club have been Mayo senior hurling champions twice (1968 and 1971) and senior county Gaelic football champions four times (1961, 1964, 1965 and 1971).
A swimming club trains at the Claremorris Leisure Centre, and incorporates water polo. The club was the first from Connacht to win the all-Ireland Under-16 and Under-19 boys championships, as well as being the first club to win the inaugural girls Under-16 and Under-19 championships.
The Claremorris Leisure Centre opened in 2009 and has a 25-metre, 6 lane, short course competition pool. It also has a gymnasium and fitness studio.
Claremorris AFC soccer club trains and plays matches at Concannon Park on the Castlebar Road, just outside the town.
There is a local 18-hole golf course outside Claremorris on the Galway Road.
An athletics club trains on a newly developed Mondo athletics track.
Claremorris Colts RFC was established in 2009 and competes provincially and nationally. The club has teams in underage grades. In April 2012 Claremorris Colts RFC was awarded the title of ‘Club of the Year 2012’ by the Connacht Branch of the IRFU.
There are two photography clubs in the town. Infinity Photo Group has an impressive studio in the town and runs classes, workshops and photo-shoots with leading professional models, for members and non-members alike. Claremorris Camera Club meets twice monthly in Claremorris Town Hall Theatre, and runs activities for its members.
There are boxing clubs, handball clubs and a tennis club in the town – all with impressive facilities.
The Tidy Towns’ Committee are very active and have played a huge role in improving the appearance of the town and the provision of common spaces.
Claremorris is home to one of Ireland’s eight inland weather observing stations, located 2 kilometres from the town centre. It began recording weather in November 1943.